Why Your Business Needs a Growth Strategy

The purpose of the ultant’s Corner and Growth Sttegies is to help business owners and leaders hurdle the many stumbling blocks that impe progress and, all too oft, knock businesses and organizations completely out of the ce.  The most daunting obstacle blocking the path to success is what I call the cold, hard truth.

What is the cold, hard truth?

This truth is a two-prong pitchfork of probability:

By simply acknowlging and accepting these odds, you have tak the first step to joying the befits of going into business.  And there are many reasons to go into business other than money.  There is a sse of freom, excitemt, and advture that is much more alluring than punching a time clock.  So, if you are a business owner – or business owner to be – who wants to “beat the odds” and joy your ownership advture long-term: Growth Sttegies is for you.

The core of Growth Sttegies is the Five Pillars of Business Growth.  Each of The Five Pillars shares the weight of a healthy, growing business.  The lack or loss of ev a single pillar means your business cannot grow or, if it es grow, the weight of such growth cannot be sustain – and may, in fact, cause an ev more colossal failure.

What are the Five Pillars of Business Growth and why is growth so important?
Let’s address the latter question first.  Growth is esstial for long-term .  Any business, but most particularly a new or smaller business, that is not growing, skirts failure.  Small businesses that are not growing tantly opete “on-the-bubble.”  In other words, they gete just ough revue to pay the bills and just ough profit for the owner to justify keeping the ors op.  Although it may have a few employees, the owner is the primary provider, or direct over-seer, of the business’s product or service.  Gelly, the business will have no formal opeting procures, no real costpricevolume sttegy, and, little or no cash reserves. 

In short, a non-growing business is a house of cards, ely toppl by the slightest change.  Perhaps the owner gets ill and cannot work for a few weeks, a piece of equipmt breaks, supplier costs increase, es come due, a loan is call, or a key employee leaves.  Maybe a competitor gets serious about growing his or her own business and woos away the customers.  Any of these evts can spell disaster for a business not actively pursuing smart-growth.

The Five Pillars form a fmework for smart-growth – i.e. profitable, scalable growth.  What are the Five Pillars of Business Growth?  Here’s a quick run-wn:

Pillar One: The Customer Experice – Your customers not buy a product or service.  They buy the experice of obtaining that product or service from your business. 

Pillar Two:  Make a Profit – If your business es not gete a profit – it will fail.  It can’t be simpler – learn to measure, create, sustain and keep your profits!

Pillar Three: Own a Business, Not a Job – If it cannot effectively function in your absce, your business cannot grow beyond you.  To grow, you must own a business and not a job.

Pillar Four: Manage Systems, Lead People – Your business is a game, a serious game, but a game none-the-less compris of steps and rules you create.  These steps and rules (systems) are creat to make currt customers happy and get new customers.  Employees are tin to play your game – to opete your systems. This ables you to lead them as a team, not micro-manage their individual actions.

Pillar Five: Make Time for the Business of Business: To grow your business you must have time to think about where you want your business to go and plan the path to take it there.  By successfully ing the other four pillars you will gete time for the “business of business” and, with it, the power to take your business to the next level.

This column has introduc The Five Pillars of Business Growth.  Future columns will share stories of business owners as they truct (and retruct) their businesses atop this smart-growth foundation and provide real-world examples illustting each of the Five Pillars at work.  My hope is that real-world scarios shar by The ultant’s Corner will help you grow your own business andor more effectively manage your organization.

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